A brand-new military transport plane currently under development won’t be ditched after a test flight ended in tragedy, defense industry sources say, despite a prototype smashing into the ground outside Moscow, killing its crew.
On Wednesday, sources close to the project told RIA Novosti that work on the Ilyushin Il-112V would continue despite the catastrophic crash, which claimed the lives of all three people on board. Video shot in the woodland outside Moscow shows the stricken plane spiraling out of control after one of its engines caught fire, before plummeting nose-first into the Earth. A ball of fire and smoke then rises from the crash site.
Despite that, the source told journalists that development is still underway on a second prototype, and that another two will soon be completed. “The third and fourth prototypes are expected to take off to continue flight tests next summer,” the unnamed official added.
Work originally began on the Il-112V in 1994, with the aircraft envisioned as a long-range light transport plane that could be configured to seat up to 40 people or carry large quantities of cargo. However, it has suffered nearly two decades of setbacks and delays, and the project was briefly paused before being revived in 2013.
The ill-fated prototype arrived in Moscow last week to participate in the Army 2021 exposition, an annual showcase featuring Russian military technology.
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